A recent State of Retailing Online 2007 report from Shop.org provides some very useful information about the effectiveness of email in retail. Here are some highlights:
1) Emailing a house list is delivering orders for less than $7 each. This is a real bargain when compared to banner ads ($71.89), paid search ($26.75), and affiliate programs ($17.47).
2) 88% of the merchants surveyed indicated that email became a higher priority during 2007.
3) The average click through rate on house email is 11% with a 6% conversion rate.
4) The average retailer mails its list 64 times each year.
5) Merchants rated different types of marketing emails based on use and effectiveness.
- Online-only promotions (71% use and 66% say it is effective)
- Segmented emails based on stated preferences or purchase history (63% use, 60% effective)
- New product announcement (73% use, 51% effective)
- Shopping cart abandonment (17% use, 13% effective)
- Promoting partners (29% use, 9% effective)
Emailing your house list is one of the easiest ways to increase revenue, but few merchants seem to have a good strategy for taking advantage of it. It is not enough to just email in adhoc fashion when you remember to do it; you need to spend some time planning your campaigns. As this study shows, that planning could pay bigger dividends than the time you spend planning most other marketing efforts.